I wish I could tell you that I saw this while I was shooting in the field. I also wish I could tell you that I saw it when I got home and went through my images on my computer over 3 years ago. And I wish I could say that I saw it in the 10+ times that I’ve gone back through that folder of images since then. Nope.
Actually, a month ago, I saw this golden heart, while in meditation. It wasn’t until I was going through unprocessed images a couple of weeks ago that I finally saw it. I stopped dead in my tracks and immediately remembered the vision I’d had. Apparently, I wasn’t able to see it until I was meant to. I don’t understand how I could have missed something so amazing for so long. Funny how that works sometimes.
Shannon and I stopped at this lighthouse on our lighthouse adventure day. This seems like the obvious composition to me, but it works so well. I tried other angles, but it just doesn’t have the same visual impact as this one.
After we took our shots, we decided to film a segment on focus stacking for our photography students. We explained how to approach a scene like this, and how to get everything in focus from front to back.
If you think you want to learn about advanced techniques such as focus stacking, you may want to join us over at the Light & Landscape members area, where we are teaching photography to over 20 students right now. I don’t even want to announce the price here because its ridiculously low at half off for the first month with a money back satisfaction guarantee. If you want more details, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Shannon at email@example.com
Its whats on the inside that counts. The outside of this house, and the lot, both looked cool. You’d never would have guessed there was turmoil on the inside.
I checked out several vacant homes this weekend. This old doctor’s house was the most interesting. It was big and the layout was cool. For whatever reason, its just sitting in decay now. Its not even for sale. Its a shame too because the lot is awesome.
Shot with the default camera app. Edited with Snapseed and Mextures.
I’m out at Eagle Lake, just south of the Canadian border, for the 4th. Our friends have a house right on the water, so this is the view we have to put up with for a few days 😛
I shot this with the default camera app and did one small adjustment in icolorama. I mostly achieved the look I wanted in camera by having the sun just out of frame.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with my photography. I’ve felt like I was doing the same thing over and over (creating pretty landscapes,) and not really getting anywhere.
When I moved to this small town in Maine, my girlfriend introduced me to a photographer friend of hers. This woman is relatively new to photography, and mainly is interested in surreal portraiture. That means she is always coming up with concepts and thinking about compositing and textures.
There was a time where I used to do composites and let my creativity run wild. Meeting this woman has helped reignite that part of me that wants to play and experiment with my photography and editing.
I created a couple of pieces yesterday. One, which I don’t love, but my girlfriend does, and this one, which I like more.
This shot is made up of a fall photo from New Hampshire from a few years back, and the bride is from a wedding I shot about 5 years ago. 5 years??? Is that really possible?
This was a simpler edit than you’d think. I made my adjustments in LR and then imported the 2 images into PS. I got the bride where I wanted, did some dodging and burning on her, and created a subtle shadow beneath her. Then, I used Topaz Impression 2 to create the painterly image. I decided I wasn’t completely satisfied with the lighting in the image, so I then used Mextures on my iPhone to totally change the atmosphere and mood. I think it came out pretty good 🙂
There is a 2nd house down the road that looks vacant. When I opened the screen door to look inside, there was a sign with some peeling wallpaper covering part of it. I wanted to see what it said, so I lifted the wallpaper up.
“Come on in, everything else has gone wrong”
And that summed up the vibe of this place. I walked right back out. What I did see in that room was chaos. There were old car batteries strewn about, and piles of garbage. I’d love to explore this place some more, but the musty smell and the unwelcoming vibe make me hesitant.
I find these abandoned properties in Maine to be super interesting. They’re like museums for the people that used to live there. You can try to piece together a picture of who they were, or are, by finding interesting things in each room.
If I find enough of these properties to shoot, I can definitely see myself putting together a story for Stellar. Btw, are any of you using Stellar? I haven’t really been on there since they featured a few of my stories around the new year.
Shot this with my iPhone. Edited in Snapseed, Mextures, and Stackables.
My girlfriend and I recently spent several days camping in Acadia. This gave me the opportunity to revisit places I shot a few years ago, including Jordan Pond. I also explored some new areas, but this pond might be my favorite spot out there.
I took photos there one afternoon, and then we returned again the next day with our kayaks, for a fun paddle on the water.
This image spoke to me, so I wrote some more meaningful words to go along with it:
Often, we seek reflections on water. We love to see a reflection because it creates a sense of harmony. We see something we love, and find it even more amazing when there is an exact replica.
Sometimes, the water isn’t reflective at all. Beneath the surface lies a different kind of beauty. This beauty takes effort and awareness to recognize.
[I know its a bit harder to tell in the black and white version, but the majority of these rocks are under water]
Shot with a Nikon D7000. Edited in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Topaz Impression 1.
Apparently, this is a famous building that everyone shoots, or paints, out in Rockport, MA. I shot this a couple of years ago, and never quite knew what to do with the edit. I’m not a huge fan of photos taken during the middle of the day, but this one worked for me because of the clouds.
It is a replica of a former fishing shack well known to students of art and art history as “the most often-painted building in America.”The original structure was built in 1840 and destroyed in the Blizzard of 1978, but an exact replica was constructed that same year.
I’d never sen it before, which is a good thing, because I wouldn’t want to be influenced by anything I might have seen. Honestly, there weren’t too many unique compositions for this scene, so I tried a long exposure with my 10 stop ND and then went with a painterly edit in the end.
Last night, around sunset, we had stormy skies that had a few breaks in it. I was feeling optimistic, so I went for a walk down between the ponds. For a moment, it looked like the sky was opening up right where I needed it to. Unfortunately, it closed back up after 5 minutes, and about 15 before sunset.
Instead of walking back with nothing to share, I stopped at the house on the corner to take my first shot at it. It’s abandoned and falling apart, obviously. There is so much cool detail and texture on the outside. I plan on exploring it more thoroughly one day. For this shot I just wanted a wide shot of the property. Next time I’ll be up close with my super wide angle iPro lens. I may even see if I can have a look around the inside.
Shot with ProHDRX. Edited with Snapseed, Mextures, and iColorama.
I’ve been in a Maine for a week now. I have to say that this place is the opposite of where I grew up in Silicon Valley. I was pretty worried the first couple of days, because of culture shock. I knew this town of 4000 people was going to be small, but it felt even smaller once I actually saw it. It’s definitely going to take some time to slow down and adjust.
I feel like I’m going to be forced to disconnect from the 21st century and get back to nature. Thats not necessarily a bad thing. The few times that I’ve been able to get out, I’ve found Maine to be incredibly peaceful. There are so few people that its very easy to find yourself in a remote area surrounded by nature.
My biggest challenges are not having a car, cell phone service is spotty, and wifi signal is awful in this house. If I go anywhere outside of civilization, my cell phone is useless, so I need to get a physical map and a compass, since I don’t know my way around. And a new challenge that just popped up is my iMac suddenly lost power while typing this up. Yay for old farmhouses.
Thats enough complaining. Trust me, I could go on about several other things, but I’m just going to have to accept that my old way of life isn’t possible here right now.
On the bright side, I already made a new photographer friend here. She is still learning, but is already creating cool surreal composites. She was nice enough to show me around the other day while she searched for the perfect pond with lily pads. There doesn’t seem to be too much talent out here outside of the two of us, and maybe one or two other people. I suppose thats a good thing for me. She already wants to open up an artist space together to display our work and run workshops. I’m still feeling the market out before I commit to that though.
(This was shot with the default camera app on the iPhone and edited with Snapseed.)
Today I leave southern Oregon for a new adventure. I’m visiting my family in California for a couple of days before I fly to Maine to start a new chapter. Its pretty exciting, to say the least.
This photo was taken right above Abiqua Falls. I wanted to go shoot Abiqua, but I ended up on a different trail that dropped me just above the falls. Thats where I found this gem. This view is gorgeous, and the view directly opposite was just as awesome, though the light wasn’t great, so I didn’t take any photos in that direction.
When I moved to Oregon I had all these ideas about exploring and finding lesser known waterfalls. I didn’t get to do that very often, but when I did find some rare beauty, it was magical. I’m looking forward to exploring remote areas of Maine, and leading workshops out there. Care to join me???
About a month ago I had a feeling there was going to be a good chance for a great sunset, so I grabbed my camera and decided to go find a good vantage point of lower table rock. There are 2 of these formations in the Rogue Valley that are remnants of a lava flow. When you hike up to the top, it feels like another planet. Its really cool.
As I waited for sunset to materialize, this cloud started to form above the rock formation. Then the light started to reflect nicely. And the cherry on top was the Canadian Geese flying by in perfect formation.
Several minutes after taking this shot, it looked like the light was done, so I packed it in and started to head home. That was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made. The entire sky turned an amazing shade of pink for a good 15 minutes. I was stuck in my car on the freeway, and didn’t get any photos. It was pretty awesome to witness the valley covered in such a vivid pink, but I was kicking myself for not being able to capture it.
Oh well, I’m still pleased with this photo, and it will remind me of the Rogue Valley for the rest of my life 🙂
Bridal Veil Falls is a relatively short and easy hike in the Columbia River Gorge. I ended up going there twice in the span of a week. It’s quite pretty in person, but very difficult to do justice in photos. That may be why there aren’t any iconic shots that come to mind when you hear the name.
I was struggling to do a straightforward edit, so I decided to try Topaz Impressions for the painterly look. I like to reduce the opacity of the effect, so the details still come through.
A couple of years ago I took a bunch of photos of animals at the natural history museum in NYC. I thought I would do something cool with them eventually. And it only took like 2 years for me to play with a few of them.
This was edited in Snapseed, Mextures, and iColorama.
Theres so much to share since my last post. The most exciting thing is I’m moving to Maine next month. In the meantime, I’m trying to sell stuff to raise money for the move. If you’ve ever thought about buying one of my prints, this would be the perfect time to do so. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing.
Why Maine? I’m following my intuition and my heart. After a week traveling around Oregon with my girlfriend, she asked me to move in with her in Maine. She was looking into jobs and housing in Oregon, but it would probably be easier for me to relocate for now.
Being on the east coast will be a fun new adventure for me. And it should provide Shannon and I with more opportunities to lead workshops together. If you have any interest in a waterfall or fall color workshop in the New England area, you can let me know in the comments, or email me directly.
This was shot with my Nikon D7000 using the Tokina 11-16 2.8 lens. I’ll try to get back into the habit of posting here again.